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Volunteers create peaceful garden on Noble’s Hospital estate

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Volunteers Oliver Williamson, Barbara Musker and Richard WebberA new garden has been officially opened on the Noble’s Hospital estate thanks to the work and contributions of volunteers across the Island.

The new facility – called Sheeain Garey, which means “Peace to Us” in Manx Gaelic – has been developed at no cost to the taxpayer, instead relying on the generous donation of time, equipment, plants, seating and other materials.

Three volunteers, who have been at the heart of the project for several months, performed the official opening, using gardening shears to cut a ribbon placed across the new willow archway that forms an entrance to the site. The Minister for Health and Social Care, Kate Beecroft MHK, who was invited to the opening, was given a tour of the garden.

The Minister said:

'I would like to offer my sincere thanks and congratulations to all involved and it shows what can be achieved when everyone works together. The volunteers and community groups have created a tranquil oasis. It is just lovely and a real asset to the staff and patients at Noble’s Hospital and everyone else in the vicinity.'

The garden is located at the northern-most end of the west wing of the hospital, near to the Manx Breast Unit and the Private Patients Unit. Signage will be erected both in and outside of Noble’s Hospital to help direct people to the garden.

Jan Mellows, Divisional Manager for Core Services at Noble’s Hospital, has helped drive the project. She said:

'Noble’s Hospital is surrounded by the Manx countryside and is well landscaped and I think this type of environment really benefits patients and staff. The patch of garden that’s been developed dates back to the Ballamona Hospital, with well-established trees, grass and an aviary. We wanted to make more of the space, introducing some colour with flowers and making it a haven, particularly for patients who may want some time outside of the hospital.

'There is a substantial body of evidence which demonstrates the health benefits of contact with nature – from improving mood and reducing stress to actually speeding up recovery after operations.

'Developing the space hasn’t cost a penny – so many people have contributed: volunteers, staff, local organisations and third sector organisations. It’s been a real community effort for which the hospital is very grateful. Generous donations as well as the time, skill and dedication of volunteers have enabled us to create something very special. 

'The end result is that we’ve been able to transform an ordinary patch of land into a tranquil, peaceful haven which will benefit patients, staff and visitors alike.'

Anyone who would like to be involved in the project or make a donation can contact the Noble’s Hospital Volunteer Service by emailing or telephoning +44 1624 650720.

*Picture - Volunteers Oliver Williamson, Barbara Musker and Richard Webber

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